By Daniel Hunter

It was announced yesterday (Thursday) that BAE Systems will continue to act as UK Sport’s Official Research and Innovation Partner on the ‘Road to Rio’.

The £800k agreement means athletes will have access to cutting-edge technology as they seek to apply scientific innovation to their training, recovery, injury prevention and in competition. This is the second phase of a partnership which has already benefited more than 20 different Olympic and Paralympic sports and 140 athletes ranging from cycling to skeleton.

“The difference between success and failure in sport can often come down to the smallest of margins," Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson commented.

"The cutting edge technology from BAE Systems contributed to British athletes’ incredible success in the run-up to and during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I am pleased that BAE Systems’ partnership with UK Sport will continue to support our best athletes, with Sochi and Rio on the horizon.”

To mark the announcement, a revolutionary new racing wheel, which can improve the acceleration of Great Britain’s wheelchair racers by up to 20 per cent, was unveiled by London 2012 Paralympic silver medalist, Shelly Woods today.

Developed at BAE Systems’ R&D centre in Bristol — in partnership with Draft and Angle Consultancy — the new advanced composite wheel is stronger, faster and lighter than designs used by racers previously. The increased lateral stiffness means new wheels no longer bend inwards, reducing friction between them and the track, improving speed and acceleration.

BAE Systems engineers will continue to work with UK Sport, and their science, medicine and technology arm, the English Institute of Sport, to support British sports and athletes ahead of major competitions including the forthcoming Winter Games

Simon Howison, Engineering Projects Director at BAE Systems, said: “This partnership will continue to help us demonstrate how engineering can be applied in many different areas and encourage more young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering and maths. We’re hugely proud to work with British athletes and help support incremental gains in performance that might make a real difference to the nation’s sporting success.”

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